A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


Food Fun

by Cynthia Chow
& Sandra Balzo


Uncommon Grounds coffee shop owner Maggy Thorsen thought that she was being responsible by reporting to the authorities the nearly fifty-thousand dollars in cash hidden in a trunk left for her by her late brother. It was why she was meeting with financial planner Lynne Swope, sister of the town librarian and a new resident of Brookhills, Wisconsin. The news that Lynne’s husband has just joined Maggy’s ex-husband’s dental practice is a complication, but not a conflict of interest.

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by Kathleen Costa


This week we have a review of Burned to a Crisp, the latest Cookies & Chance mystery by Catherine Bruns, along with a look at the previous books in the series, and an interview with Catherine. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Burned to a Crisp, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

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by Terrance Mc Arthur


If I had wings to fly…Better yet, if I had wings to eat. Hot wings, cold wings, buffalo wings…Who knew the arms of a chicken would become so popular?

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I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

IN THE December 3 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andFood Fun
SECTIONS

by Carolyn M. Tellers



The year of 1977 was a magical year for me. It was filled with fun family times, foods, and celebrations, including my seventh birthday on July 7. From what I remember, the weather was pretty mild that autumn through December, and Lake Erie hadn’t frozen over. What that meant was that when a cold north wind blew over the lake, it often brought Lake Effect snow.

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by Cynthia Chow


As ubiquitous as fruitcake, but probably better received, eggnog ushers in the start of the holiday season with its spicy aroma, sinful calories, and for these three cozy mystery authors…murder.

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by Cynthia Chow
& Sandra Murphy



This week we have 4 new food mysteries from Penguin & Kensington authors for your holiday reading-The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha by JoAnna Carl, The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole: A Taste of Texas Mystery by Rebecca Adler, A Killer Kebab: A Greek to Me Mystery by Susannah Hardy, and Dying for Strawberries: A Berry Basket Mystery by Sharon Farrow. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win copies of all 3 books, and links to purchase them.

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by Doward Wilson


The Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel has brought Peter King’s eight-book series of The Gourmet Detective to life with three movies to date. Set in San Francisco rather than London, the movies star Dyan Neal as well-known food expert Henry Ross, and Brooke Burns as police detective, Maggie Price.

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Pumpkin Pie in Japan

IN THE November 19 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Lorna Collins


In August of 1998, we moved to Japan to build the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka. Prior to our move, we had hosted six Japanese students in our home. One of the perks of living there was the opportunity to see our ‘kids.’

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by Sandra Murphy
& Ali Brandon


It’s Thanksgiving time at the brownstone bookstore. Robert has the café running smoothly with his Goth friend Pink, trained as his backup. Darla wants to make sure the bookstore makes as much money as possible during the season to carry them over possible dead months of January and February.

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by Sandra Murphy


For readers who enjoy a little back story, a quick read, and new recipes for the holidays, this book fits the bill. As the story unfolds, Hannah is at a leisurely dinner with Ross. The tale she tells is about an old schoolmate returned to town, rumors about her relationship with a certain someone, a disappointed Mrs. Claus, a husband not where he’s supposed to be, and homemade caramels as a clue.

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by Sandra Murphy


Five friends are tap dancers turning pro. They call themselves the Happy Hoofers. Dancing is a way to exercise, meet new people, and travel with the added complication of solving murders. This time they’re dancing on stage with the Rockettes for the Christmas program.

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by Sandra Murphy
& Cynthia Chow



We end October with a fun group of new mysteries from Penguin authors, and most tie in to food and drink in some way-
Crepe Factor: A Scrapbooking Mystery By Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran, Seeds of Deception: An Orchard Mystery Series by Sheila Connolly, Tangled Up in Brew: Brewing Trouble Series by Joyce Tremel, and Killing Thyme: A Spice Shop Mystery by Leslie Budewitz.

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Food for the Journey

IN THE October 29 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andHealthy Eating in the Valley,
andTom Sims
SECTIONS

by Tom Sims



I am on a journey. It is a journey for life and health, wellness and joy. Like Hippocrates, the ancient physician, I have been learning “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

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by Cynthia Chow


Chocolate Whisperer may be a made-up job title, but there’s nothing fictional about Hayden Mundy Moore’s expertise at perfecting all things chocolate. Her client list is discrete, but growing, with restaurants and businesses hiring her to improve their recipes and final products. Her latest assignment takes her to Sloane Square, London, where Hayden’s skills have been engaged to stop Primrose restaurant’s slow decline in quality.

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by Sandra Murphy


Krissy Hancock is a bookstore café owner. She likes Halloween, but serving pumpkin-flavored cookies and drinks is her idea of a good time. She’s invited to a party with Will, a former love interest who had faded from the scene just when she thought things were going well. The invitation is his way of making up. Little did she know, it was the annual Yarborough party, always spookily overdone.

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by Terrance Mc Arthur


Baseball, fairs, barbecues…Homes of the Hot Dog.
One of the great American comfort foods, I loved those frankfurters and wieners nestled in their buns, squiggles of mustard and ketchup making racing stripes along the meat. Today, the Great Food Search seeks hot dogs in the wilds of…Fresno?

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by Sandra Murphy
& Ellen Byron


Poor Maggie Crozat. If she could just say no, her life would run smoothly. On the other hand, a generation-long feud can make you agree to most anything rather than suffer the consequences.
Rufus, usually the police chief who gives Maggie grief every chance he gets, is suspended without pay after an argument over a parking space. He’s engaged to Vanessa who is a co-worker of Maggie’s. Vanessa is also eight plus months pregnant and determined to marry Rufus before the baby is born.

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Jeri’s Halloween Caramel Corn

IN THE October 8 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Jeri Westeron


Halloween. What mystery writer doesn’t like this particular holiday? Heck, I start my decorating promptly on October 1st, because not only do I like the visions of skeletons and skulls, of black cats and black bats, of witch’s brews and cobwebs, but here in southern California it means that fall weather is just around the corner. And after our hot, dry summers, a cool, breezy day is a welcome sight.

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